An indigenous, water wise garden will enhance your envrionment and is environmentally friendly. Six steps to follow, if you wish to establish your own water wise garden:
Rezone your garden: Take plants with similar water needs and plant them together. Plant some indigenous trees with deep root systems to create shade.
Mulching is the answer: It prevents evaporation, keeps weeds out and moisture in. Popular mulching options include biodegradable items, such as grass cuttings, wood shavings, bark, decomposed animal droppigns and garden compost. Non-living options include among others broken stones, small rocks and gravel. You van also do “xeriscaping” – this gardening technique focuses on saving water, by planting drought resistant, slow growing plants that will thrive under your local climate conditions.
Soil quality: Add organic material, such as compost and other decomposed plant material to your soil to keep moisture in. And make sure that some earth worms are living in your garden to improve your soil quality.
Your lawn: Decrease your massive lawn by replacing some sections with ground covers or other interesting water wise landscaping methods. It is better to mow your lawn more often than to mow it irregularly and more severe.
Water correctly: It is possible to “teach” your plants to be water wise, by watering them less often – this will encourage deeper root growth and make your plants more drought resistant. Water before 09:00 in the mornings and after 18:00 in the evenings, and avoid windy days.
Plant indigenous: Remove exotic plants and replace them with indigenous plants. Note, however, that not all indigenous plant species are necessarily water wise. Ask the experts at your local nursery for advice.
(Sources: jamieddesign.co.za; stodels.com; gardenshop.co.za; gardenworld.co.za; waterwise.co.za).